Apple

The Department of Justice seems to be more interested in Apple’s App Store than iPhone-related patents.

Apple may be facing an antitrust lawsuit from the US Department of Justice — this time regarding its AirTags, but sources say that it’s still only a matter of DOJ lawyers drafting a complaint against Apple. Some news outlets have speculated that the DOJ has taken an interest in Apple’s hardware, but there’s no guarantee they’ll eventually follow through.

The DOJ began investigating Apple in 2019, as part of a larger government investigation into Big Tech. The agency has primarily focused on Apple’s tight hold on its App Store and payment system for developers so far. It looks like Apple’s new patent could also be a response to complaints by Tile. I’m not surprised because it seems like an obvious move.

AirTags use ultra-wideband technology and Apple’s Find My network to locate devices, sometimes more accurately than Tile’s early model Bluetooth trackers. Apple has responded by saying that their intention is not to disadvantage Tile. Apple has finally opened its “Find my” network to third-party devices last year for tracking location, but with restrictions that would likely result in companies like Tile having to give up their software ecosystem. Apple was not interested in being involved in the investigation. Engadget reached out to Apple and the DOJ for more information on why, but didn’t hear back from either yet.

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